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Definition of "cold war" [cold war]

  • A state of political tension and military rivalry between nations that stops short of full-scale war, especially that which existed between the United States and Soviet Union following World War II. (noun)
  • A state of rivalry and tension between two factions, groups, or individuals that stops short of open, violent confrontation. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "cold war" in a sentence
  • "The time to stop the Soviet invasion was before it happened, not by embarking on an election-driven policy of renewed cold war with Moscow and intervention in Afghanistan, which, Kennedy observed to me, led God knew where."
  • "By July 1950, when the cold war had become a shooting war in Korea, de-Nazification was quietly dropped in West Germany."
  • "As the cold war ended, the word surfaced again with a slightly different meaning: in 1990, Professor Paul Wilkinson, a British terrorism expert, told the Press Association that Iraq was unrivaled in the technique, with sleeper squads, known as “submarines,” already in position."